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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 3277

Senator FIELDING (Leader of the Family First Party) (5:39 PM) —This issue is an absolute disgrace. The Prime Minister of Australia said that he would stop the rorts that happened with political advertising and advertising around election times and yet here is the Prime Minister with his hand in the cookie jar spending taxpayers’ money on propaganda for the Rudd government. It is wrong and the Prime Minister should not be allowed to get away with it. Here he is exempting the ads for the Rudd government from the guidelines that he set up.

You cannot have it both ways. You cannot go to the Australian public and say, ‘I am going to put a stop to the rort of using taxpayers’ money on advertising for the government of the day.’ It is wrong, and if the Labor Party want to continue down this track of advertising a mining tax they should do it out of their own expenditure—Labor Party money—and not at the taxpayers’ expense. I hope that with the budget this chamber can move a request that means that no taxpayers’ money will be spent on the mining tax, the RSPT. This is clearly a breach of their own guidelines and it is wrong. They cannot have it both ways. The Prime Minister has to be held to account and the Senate should do that. I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.